Dr. Om Parkash
Assistant Professor of Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences
parkash at psis.umass.edu
The Parkash group are specialists in biotechnology focusing on phytoremediation and tolerance to abiotic stress. This work is conducted in numerous species including Arabidopsis, rice, cranbe, switchgrass, and brachy. A sustainable biofuels industry will rely on the production of energy crops (species not cultivated for food) on marginal lands. Plant tolerance to toxic soils is an obvious necessity not to mention the need for vigorous growth on land with a general lack of tilth. This brings us to a second important area in need of exploration, how will the biofuel conversion process be effected by plants high in heavy metals, for example? To test if plants grown on degraded lands will influence overall feedstock quality, the Dr. Parkash will use C. phytofermentans as a correlate for industrial consolidated bioprocessing. Another key contribution the Parkash Laboratory provides is the ability translate discovery in brachy to cultivated species such as rice and switchgrass.